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Iowa State Wins an OT Thriller 84-81

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I’m Out of Breath

NCAA Basketball: Iowa State at Oklahoma State Rob Ferguson-USA TODAY Sports

Iowa State played a mistake-ridden disatsterpiece, and some how escaped Stillwater with a win. The Cyclones ought to be charged with highway robbery, but for the first time in forever, the law of averages, and even goaltending, were on our side. Kind of.

News broke earlier today that the Pokes’ leading scorer, Bryce Williams, would be sidelined, which as all Cyclones know, some supporting cast player was about to Play. Out. Of. His. Freaking. Mind.

Said out-of-mind-player would be Avery Anderson III who averages 10 points on the season. By no means is Anderson a no name scrub but he’s not exactly known to drop 34 points a night, unless it’s January 26th 2022. He shot 5-11 from three point land, and as a 70% free throw shooter, shot 10-12 from the line. No doubt, the Avery Anderson game.

You like close games? How’s this for close games. Neither team could pull away, as the lead rarely stretched to a two possession game. A night where it felt like a 4 point lead was apocalyptic for either side.

After a scary close three point shot by Anderson was just off the mark, this one headed to overtime. The last sequence-ish was something like this.

Brockington gets the ball trapped in the corner, and throws a very risky pass to Tyrese Hunter who is tip-toe’ing the sideline. I hope TJ let his two best players know that a timeout should’ve been called by either one, but Ok St. has the ball with 15 seconds left. Cowboy big man Moussa Cisse would be charged with offensive interference, as he tried to put back a dunk while it was still over the cylinder. The right call, and the exorcism of some previous goaltending demons.

Tre Jackson would go on to shoot 2-2 from the line as he was subbed in after Gabe Kalscheur fouled out, and that makes Jackson a perfect 100% free throw shooter this season, 2-2 in 20 games.

Oklahoma State would have two chances to tie it, including a desperation heave from Avrey Anderson that would fall wide, air ball. Game. Over.

This game wasn’t without some Cyclone heroics. Izaiah Brockington, man. Are there any words left? That guy shot a 20 footer, moving to his right, as a left hander, guy in his face, with a minute to play. Huh? Who does that? Who tries that? And then who actually makes that? Brockington shot over 50% from the field, and how’s this for data all you mid-range haters... 3-4 from BEYOND the arc. So suck it.

Speaking of beyond the arc, Caleb Grill had the grill, smoker, and pizza oven rolling in Stillwater. The Cyclones had been dreadful from three in the two games leading up to this one, but Grill led the Cyclones to a 43% percentage from beyond, making 5-7.

And then, I’m conflicted. Tyrese Hunter... at times looks like a senior playing in a freshman’s body. The dunk with two and a half minutes left in OT, the rhythm swing pass to Brockington for an open 3 look, and he finished with 18 points.

And then, he absolutely looks like a freshman 30 seconds later. Five turnovers, including some real head scratchers. Losing his dribble with 10 seconds left in regulation, and essentially tripping over his own feet with under a minute left in OT.

I can’t end this game on a bad note though, the Cyclones needed a win, and they got a damn win. I’ve said it once, I’ll say it a million times, Big 12 road wins are going to be very hard to come by. This 10-9 Ok State team beat Baylor in Waco, and beat Texas at home. They aren’t scrubs, and this is a quad 1 win.

The Cyclones play a former rival this Saturday, Norm Stewart probably won’t flip off the student section this weekend,(This bit told as a first hand account from my dad who was at that game in 1988) but more recently, Mizzou took number one ranked Auburn to the wire. The Big 12-SEC challenge should be a fun one in Hilton this Saturday.

It goes without saying that today has been an emotional day for Cyclone nation.

Nick, just know your Cyclones showed up and showed out for you today. We love you, you’ve inspired a whole fanbase, and “We Will” never forget what you meant to this program, university, and family.